Defining Taxonomy & Metadata


The description, identification, naming, and classification of terms in an ordered system that indicates the relationships among them. Taxonomies typically define hierarchical relationships, but can also define equivalence and associative relationships.


The process of assigning items into classes or categories of the same type.


The process of applying metadata elements and values to a piece of content or a content record in a content management system. Metatags establish the characteristics of each page so the page can be retrieved via search or filtering functionality.


Sometimes called a controlled vocabulary. A set of preferred terms, their definitions, and related commonly used terms. These terms form the basis for creation of a faceted schema.


Set of elements and values used to tag content items. Includes rules on how the element content must be formulated and represented and any controlled vocabularies to be used within the value can be specified.

Types of Metadata

Asset metadata

Information that is needed to manage content: author, date of creation, file size

Subject metadata  

Characterizes what the content is about: who (people and organizations), what (products, services, etc.), when (relevant time period), where (locales), and why (the subject proper)

Relational metadata    

Describes how a content asset is related to other content assets

Use metadata    

Characterizes, based on information fed back from Web traffic logs, eCRM systems, and other runtime applications, how the content may be used